Thank you for your thoughtfulness, thank you for your sound advice about our brave boy, Mack. See you on the other side Mackie.

Hello Friends.

I’m back.  How have you all been???

It seems like so much more time than only one week has gone by since I posted last.  It really is amazing how much can happen in such a short period of time.  Last Sunday I was heading back to our home in LA from South Carolina, with a huge task before me.  I cannot adequately express how much your thoughtful messages have helped lift my heavy heart.  I thank you all for your kindness, support, and uplifting words.  They have helped me through this week more than you will know.

For those of you who have been in our shoes; having to let a beloved fur-baby go, when it seems as though they just might be able to carry on a little bit longer, you know the anguish we faced leading up to last Monday.  You might even know the residual guilt that lingers even after you’ve said your good-byes, wondering if maybe you had started some sort of protocol earlier, opted for, in Mack’s case, the removal of his adrenal tumor, would he, could he have lived on with a doggie wheelchair a few more years???

He couldn’t tell me what he would have wanted, so it was up to me, to us, to guess.  Three different vets assured me that he would lose all dignity to have to spend the rest of his life using a wheelchair, while his two healthy, virile pack mates ran around freely on four good legs.  We were assured that we did right by him.  That it was time.

Mack himself shared with all of us that he was tired.  That he had spent twelve good years with us, and that he was ready to go.

Actually, I take that back.  I don’t believe he was ready, nor do I think for five minutes that he wanted to go.  But, what I do believe he communicated to us, with his eyes, was that it was enough.  We had done enough; and more importantly, he had fought long enough.  I could see that he didn’t have any fight left in him.  No dog cart, or tumor removal surgery would do the trick to revive his weary soul.  Once I saw that clearly in his eyes, I knew I had to put myself aside.  I had to let the desire to want him to stay on with us forever, go.  His needs needed to come first, and as hard as it was to walk him into the vet’s office, one last time, I knew that it was what he needed us to do for him.

So we bucked up, and we did what he needed us to do.

I want to extend my deepest gratitude to those of you who wrote me to share your opinions on having our other two boys with us when we let Mack go.  As you know, I/we initially didn’t want them there.  I had read that it was too upsetting for the other members of the pack to be present when there alpha passes (with the assistance of man), so we had zero plans to have them there.  But, within the last few days of Mack’s life, Duke was beside himself.  He laid with Mack almost all day long, every day.  He knew that his alpha was fading, he stayed near to him, to comfort him, and to show his loyalty to him.  Kohl, was an emotional mess.  Clingy with us.  Crying for no reason, and pacing through the house.  Then you shared your thoughts on how having them with their alpha when they pass actually brings them closure.  Finding that hard to believe, I did some research on the subject, and I read that it helps them to grieve, and let go.  Our firm stance on not having them with us changed, and judging from how the boys are settling in to their new lives of being a duo, rather than a trio, in contrast to how Mack and Duke did after we lost Kuda.  I can see clearly that your suggestions were in fact the lesser of two evils, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking time out of your busy lives, and schedules to share with me your experiences, and for guiding me in the better direction.

Our sweet Mack is finally free of all his ailments now.  I pray that he is reunited with his spunky big brother, who was taken from him far too soon, and I hope that they think about us often, and remember us fondly as a family who loved them deeply, and enjoyed them every day that we were blessed to call them our dogs.

xoxo to our “Mack truck” who plowed through each and every illness this life threw at him, to bless us with his love and energy for twelve fun, love filled years.  See you on the other side sweet, brave boy, know that you are deeply missed down here.

9 Comments

  1. Life is fleeting but your love for your furry family member is immutable, Shantelle.
    For what it’s worth I am sending positive vibes from Niagara.

  2. I feel for you and all those who have related their stories here. Yes, there are signs our fur-babies give us, and we can see their body has had enough. What a special thing to have Kohl and Duke along with you, to not only help them with closure, but give Mack a loving ‘whole household’ farewell.

    I have no doubt he is reunited with his big brother and they are both romping around happily and eating all their favourite food, all while remaining with you all in spirit, watching over you with hearts full of love and gratitude for their time with you.

    God bless each and every one of you.

  3. I could not agree more. Every man I have known has found a way to do less work. Sometimes, they work hard, but leave the “loose ends” to the woman when they go off to have fun. I had a business partner like that. We are best friends but we finally went our separate ways and he had to stand on his own 2 feet. Like a baby bird shoved out of the nest, he floundered at fist then found his footing. We were not married. I guess loving someone makes room for a little selfishness. I mean that in a good way.👌😉❤

  4. Oh, Mackie…Always sounded like such a sweet dog when I’d read what you wrote about him. Wish I could’ve given him a pat –You must have so many “memories of Mack”! And he, those fond ones of you – I respect the type of owners you sound to be (this being another connective example). My condolences to you; furry family included. <3 🐕🐕

  5. First of all I want to send my deepest condolences on the loss of Mack. Our beloved Brinkley was lost to us on 5/8/17. I will forever remember he was 15 years, 11 months and 2 days because we had been teasing about his 16th birthday for some time. A miniature schnauzer, he succumbed to cancer that had been growing for almost 3 years. We would see glimmers of hope over the course of treatment. Last September after the loss his younger (9.5 years old and also a schnauzer) sister to complications of stomach cancer, Brinkley seemed to lose much of his spunk. It was indeed a heart wrenching decision, one that we also took very seriously, jumped back and forth across the fence etc. But we know Brinkley is also free of pain and believe they are both romping and enjoying life on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

    This is a long way around saying that I found your blog through a post of your husband’s on twitter – and I not only read about your return to Toronto, but then this post about your fur-babies. Now I can enjoy not only your husband’s talent, but yours as well. Thanks to both of you!

  6. Unfortunately it is up to us to know the signs they are giving us that it is time to let go and give them the dignity of a well loved passing. It is always hard to let a fur-baby go but rest assured that you will meet again when the next one comes into your life unexpectedly. I know when I let my Dakota go (with cancer) that I wasn’t planning on getting another fur-baby. But along comes Bear and in each and every way he is a reincarnation of Dakota’s personality. So I’m sure Mack will come back to you when you lease expect it. Prayers to you all that time will make it a little easier but never far from your thoughts.

  7. I never had thought about having other dogs there at the vet when the alpha has to go. Judging from your experience, it was a good idea. I have no pets now, but that is something to remember, I did have an experience with my last dog (many years ago). She had not been doing well, and she was old for a Springer Spaniel, so I took to the vet to ease her way. However, she ran around the vet’s office to show that she was “fine” and not ready. So I took her home. However, a few months later she didn’t eat for a couple of days. The next day, she just lay there, stretched out. So then I knew it was time for her to go. But I’ll never forget that the cat I had at the time, as well as several of her kittens, came in one by one, to snuggle up with Gwen for a while, to comfort her.

  8. Having another little cry. Your feelings and struggles these last months of Mack’s life here on earth resonated deeply with me. So glad both Duke and Kohl are settling in and I know the look Mack gave you was the same one I got from my Shadow. Let me go I love you but I’m weary. I am at peace about my decision and I know you all will be too! Much love Marion❤

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